Q: Today I welcome author and publisher Alyson Faye! Welcome! First off, if you could tell a little bit about yourself and what types of stories you enjoy writing as well as which genres you write in?
A: I tutor adult ed and have a job as editor for an indie UK press; am a mum, have a dog who takes me out for regular walks, I love cinema and especially vintage Hollywood movies. I enjoy writing quiet horror with a twist in the tail/tale, sometimes that might be as a flash fiction piece (under 500 words) or it might be short story length; I write dark poetry too and so far, a couple of novellas, one of which is a noir crime story set in Britain in post WW2 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Z53FNMS)and the next one due out in August is inspired by a lost haunted silent film.
Q: I’d love to share a bit about your most recent work, if you could let our readers know about it?
A: Two projects – one solo written, Silent Scream (cover reveal coming soon on twitter) which I mentioned above, is inspired by my love of old movies and those starring the Man of a Thousand Faces, Lon Chaney. The other is the co-edited anthology with Stephanie Ellis, who runs our indie horror press with me, Black Angel – Daughters of Darkness 2. I also have a Victorian Gothic story coming out in Space and Time’s summer #141 magazine which is exciting. Currently up on The World of Myth (http://theworldofmyth.com/) is part 1 of my story, MaXXed Out, which originally appeared in Inferno, the first antho me and Steph co-edited.https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08PL56DG1
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your work?
A: Norwich, where I went back to train as a teacher. My first sale in the 1990’s to Collins was a children’s book, Soldiers in the Mist, set in Norwich, and it is a timeslip mystery thriller.
Q: On top of writing, you have gotten into publishing! If you could share a bit about Black Angel Press? When did it start? What are your goals? I’d love to feature all of the details!
A: Myself and Horror Tree‘s Stephanie Ellis, got to know each other over the last few years online, through our writing at first, then swapping our submission/rejection/acceptances/life stories, and then meeting up in real life, at EdgeLit and the UK 2019 Ghost Story Festival held at the Derby Quad in the UK. By then I was working as an editor for an indie publisher, and Steph had already published a couple of anthos through The Infernal Clock. She is very tech savvy (compared to me!), so we felt our skills and literary interests complemented each other. I forget which of us floated the indie press idea first, but it just clicked. We chat so much online, about writing matters, and beta read for each other that it was a natural progression.
We have our own solo projects, Steph has a contract with indie publisher, Silver Shamrock and appears regularly in horror anthologies and is a member of the HWA. My dark poetry has been shortlisted recently by Crystal Lake and a recent story sale was to Space and Time magazine.
We have a good balance therefore between the joint publishing projects and our own work.
We have plans for 2022 and more news to reveal soon about Black Angel Press. I will let you know as soon as I can on that front.
Q: Black Angel Press recently released your first female-authored anthology, Daughters of Darkness. What can you share about the release?
A: The first Daughters of Darkness antho did well, picking up some very positive reviews, and encouraged us to feel it was worth editing/publishing another. Daughters of Darkness 2 – this time with a cover by Max Stark is due out in October and we invited our dream team of women horror writers :- Catherine McCarthy and T.C.Parker, (both recently nominated in the Ladies of Horror awards), Lynn Love and Beverley Lee. Happily all four ladies said, ‘yes’ and that was brilliant. Their work is top-notch. This time me and Steph are editing only not featuring our own work. We very much hope there will be a DoD3 next year with a new quartet of deadly femmes.
Q: Do you have any other all-female projects in the works that I could spotlight?
A: There will be more news coming later this year about other all-female projects from Black Angel Press. We hope at some point to publish an antho with new/unpublished female horror writers. I remember those who gave me support starting out like Steph and Stuart Conover who set up The Horror Tree and others, like Joanna Sterling at The Casket of Fictional Delights, and I/we would like to give that support to another generation as it were of writers.
Q: You are tutor classes in creative writing. How has it been to help other authors get their footing?
A: I started tutoring classes about 4 years ago, in a very supportive environment helmed by an entrepeneur businesswoman who was willing to give me a space and some advertising. Now I run a monthly drop-in class, and I offer a mix of writing exercises, tips, advice about submitting, support and feedback. It’s a fun informal vibe, nothing too serious. Some of the students go on to be published, sometimes a lot, and sometimes get paid for it or win a competition but as long as people enjoy the group then that’s what matters most to me. I love to talk about my writing/publishing experiences and share that, as I think we’re all in the same leaky artistic boat 🙂
Q: Have you learned anything from helping others with their own writing?
A: Writing can be a very solo experience, tutoring is a way of sharing, connecting and enjoying your writing. It has a lot of value.
Q: Circling back to your writing, what was the first story that you published (and if it was a short story, where?)
A: I wrote in the 1990’s, then stopped for family reasons, but back in 2016 I think The Casket of Fictional Delights published a dark toned piece of flash fiction of mine, (https://thecasket.co.uk/story/chestnuts-for-my-sweet/) which eventually led to my debut collection of flash being published in 2018, called Badlands.
Q: One of my few published drabbles was released in Trembling With Fear over at Horror Tree right next to one of yours! I see you’ve done multiple drabbles, what are your thoughts on writing them compared to longer works?
A: Interesting question and topic – writing short v writing long. I’ve taught workshops on this one. I started out at my Leeds WEA class writing flash fiction in about 2015. It was a new form to me and I rather liked it. I liked the challenge of compressing the word count and expressing as much emotion, and action as you could. Maximising the minimal. Then I got into drabbles, and even dribbles, (50 worders) and found there were a lot of sites looking for flash online. I read more of it and saw how good it could be and how far I had to go, and the key is rewrite/edit and do it again. The best are brilliant mini word pictures which make you really think. It’s not easy writing this short but it’s fun.
Q: Thanks again, do you have any teases of what you’re working on next that you could hint at?
A: I’ve mentioned future plans for Black Angel, but for my own solo projects – yes there is a young adult novel, timeslip, I’d like to return to, which I first drafted nearly 10 years ago. Omg where did those years go to?
Finally, if there is anything else you would love to share with our readers, please do so here!
I’d say this to the writers out there – if you want to write, do it. Don’t be put off by what others may or may not say about it or lack of time etc. There is a huge amount of rejection in this writing game, and I’ve had a lot of experience of that, but perseverance, working at your fiction/poetry and never giving up goes a long way. I am the proof of that.